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Erie County Legislature Minority Caucus proposes relief package for small businesses

The proposal would give $22 million to be divided among businesses recovering from COVID-19 losses in each of the 11 legislative districts.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Legislature Minority Caucus is proposing a $22 million relief package for small businesses in Erie County.

The proposal would give $2 million each to be divided among businesses recovering from COVID-19 losses in each of the 11 legislative districts.

Businesses that qualify would receive grants between $5,000 and $20,000.  Applicants must be located in Erie County, have a three-year average annual revenue of $7.5 million or less and must prove lost revenue beginning no earlier than March 2020. 

“Small businesses in Erie County desperately need our help. If the County doesn’t formulate some sort of relief package, many business owners risk having to close their doors permanently. These establishments are in dire need of assistance and we can’t waste an opportunity to put remaining CARES Act funds to use in a way that helps them stay afloat. As the leaders in Erie County government, I am calling on County Executive Poloncarz and Chairwoman Baskin to come to the table with the Legislature to work on a plan as soon as possible. I look forward to finalizing a relief package and working to support small businesses throughout my legislative district and all of Erie County,” Minority Leader Joe Lorigo said.

The money would come from the CARES Act funding.  According to the caucus, the county has about $100 million remaining in CARES Act funds and say that if it isn't spent by the end of the year, it will be returned to the federal government.

The proposed package would make grant applications available by October 1, with a deadline of October 15 to submit their applications.